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Useful Books for Those Thinking About Teaching

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by StewieJazz, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. StewieJazz

    StewieJazz New commenter

    I had a search on here and couldn't find anything recent so I thought I'd start a thread to share useful books and discuss them.

    My current stage: definitely going to apply for the Sept. '19 start. Drafting personal statement. Looking forward to the process.

    To kick things off, I'd like to recommend "Assessment for Learning", by Black et al., which I borrowed from our local library the other day. This is one of five books that I took out, and it's the first that I picked up - and indeed, the first book I've read on teaching (save for snippets of others on the Amazon "look inside" feature!).

    I've read a fair bit of it already. It's well-written and definitely not a hard slog to get through. Its focus is on formative assessment. I was quite pleased to discover that I'd used something approximating that approach when delivering training in previous jobs, without realizing what the technical term was.

    It was interesting to read the teachers' reflections on their practice and how adopting formative assessment had changed their style of teaching for the better. I was particularly interested in comment-only marking vs mark only or mark plus comment, and surprised that comment-only marking had the best outcome. It makes sense to me now.

    The book is from about 2003, I think. During the past sixteen years, has formative assessment become more widespread as a result of the obvious benefits, or has it since fallen out of favour?

    Please add any useful books you've come across! I'll be adding more.
    rob2823 likes this.
  2. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    Many moons ago we read How Children Fail and How Children Learn, both by John Holt. In today's target and data driven teaching, however, there's not much room for pedagogy.

    Re your question on assessment, it happens all the time in teaching, informally and instinctively to inform lesson planning. However it also happens formally on a regular basis to provide the data for the targets, to complete the spreadsheets which we all spend far too much time completing.

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